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Q6. What were the steps taken by Soviets to “Socialize” the Russian society?

The Congress of Soviets on the very next day of revolution issued a proclamation to all peoples and belligerent states to open negotiations for a just peace without annexation and indemnities. Russia withdrew from the war after ceding the territories that Germany demanded as a price for peace.

Following the decree on land, the estates of the landlords, the Church and the Czar were confiscated and transferred to peasants’ societies to be allotted to peasant families to be cultivated without hired labour. The control of industries was transferred to shop committees of workers. By the middle of 1918, banks and insurance companies, large industries, mines, water transport and railways were nationalized, foreign debts were repudiated and foreign Investments were confiscated.

On the question of non-Russian nationalities, Bolsheviks were the only party then with a clear policy. Lenin had described the Russian empire as a ‘prison of nations’ and had declared that no genuine democracy could be established unless all tile non-Russian peoples were given equal rights He had proclaimed the right of all peoples, including those under the Russian empire, to self-determination.

A Declaration of the Rights of Peoples was issued conferring the right of self-determination upon all nationalities. A new government, called the Council of People’s Commissars, headed by Lenin was formed. These first acts of the new government were hailed as the beginning of the era of socialism.

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